The Difference Between Stainless Steel & Aluminum

The Difference Between Stainless Steel & Aluminum

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Whether it be metal railing, stairs or another structure, one of the first ways to determine whether you need stainless steel or aluminum is simply by thinking in context of where the metal is being used. Aluminum is softer than stainless steel, and it is of a lighter weight as well. Therefore, aluminum is often used in places where its properties are desired, such as in the gutters on your home, the engine in your car, electronics, and more.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is going to be found in places where strength and rigidity are valued above all else. For one example, custom fabricated items small and large are often created using stainless steel simply because it is so strong and durable.


Another big difference between aluminum and steel can be found in the way each metal looks. With aluminum, you are going to usually notice a grey color along with a dull texture. On the other hand, stainless steel is relatively shiny, and it often has a tint that is more silver than grey. Of course, time and weather can alter these appearances somewhat, but stainless steel will still be brighter and shinier than aluminum in most cases.


Stainless steel is more than two times heavier than aluminum. Aluminum is light, while steel is heavy and dense.


It is much easier to scratch aluminum than it is to scratch stainless steel.

Both aluminum and stainless steel have an incredible number of uses, but they are only going to be most effective when used in applications that play to their strengths. Now that you know the major differences between the two, it should be easy to make sure you have the right material for the right job.